A Common Problem
Many adults suffer from some sort of sleep disorder. The Sleep Education center finds that as many as 35 percent of American adults experience symptoms consistent with insomnia. Sleep deprivation hurts every area of your life. It hurts your focus, causes you to be forgetful, can cause depression, and leads to more traffic accidents.
No one is entirely certain what causes insomnia, but there are a variety of stressors that can trigger symptoms. Significant life changes, unusually high stress, and the loss of loved ones can all cause people to toss and turn at night. What can you do to make sure that you’re well rested enough to deal with whatever life throws at you? Everyone is different, but there are a variety of techniques that have proven to be very effective in treating insomnia.
1. Relax At Night
Don’t kill yourself working a bunch of overtime when your body is usually winding down. Make sure to get things done during the daylight so you have an appropriate amount of time to relax before sleeping.
2. Monitor Your Circadian Rhythm
Your body has a sleep cycle, and it functions best when your sleep schedule is consistent. That’s not always possible, but try your best to keep your sleep habits relatively habitual. Consistency is key!
3. Sweet Sunshine
Natural light is essential to developing good sleep habits. Your body produces melatonin in response to light exposure. Melatonin helps your body know when it’s time to shut down. Take in lots of sunlight during the day so your body knows to get tired once it’s dark.
4. Limit Screen Time
Similarly, too much unnatural light right before bed can throw your body for a whirl. Your brain won’t produce melatonin if it thinks it’s still daytime. Try to avoid staring at your phone or a bright computer screen for a couple of hours before you fall asleep.
5. Set Limits On Your Coffee Intake
Coffee is the working person’s best friend, but many Americans use it as a crutch throughout their day. After 2 P.M., avoid caffeine at all costs. Too much in your system can cause sleep to be very elusive come bedtime.
6. No Midnight Snacks
If you need to eat before bed, make sure it is something light and healthy. Too much fatty food can cause your stomach to work extra hard while you’re trying to fall asleep.
7. Control Your Breathing
Research some progressive relaxation techniques or listen to a guided relaxation recording. Controlling your breath can help relax any areas of your body that are tense from the stressful day.
8. Pressure Points
Similar to acupuncture, pressing on your body’s pressure points can help relieve stress and tension. Try pushing between your eyebrows on the top of your nose for 10 to 20 seconds.
If you can’t get comfortable, try to visualize your perfect “happy place.” Whether it’s a beach, a forest, or a penthouse in Manhattan, picture yourself somewhere serene. This can help you drift off in no time!
10. Keep Your Feet Warm
Believe it or not, your body has an ideal temperature for sleeping. If you get too chilly, your blood vessels compress and elevate your body’s temperature. This makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Don’t hesitate to put on some socks to keep yourself perfectly cozy!